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greek history

480 b.c. -- battle of Thermopylae
In the summer of 480 B.C., Xerxes massive Persian army had already caused the Greeks to abandon plans to make a stand in Thessaly and assorted Greek forces took up a position at Themopylae ("The Warm Gates"), near Artimesium. The battle is mostly remembered, however, as Sparta's moment of glory when the 300 Spartans under Leonidas fought what was a suicidal (in no small part due to the traitorous Ephialtes) delaying action which did buy the other Greek cities some time.

The actual date of the battle is uncertain, but is obviously tied to the Spartan celebration of Karnea (held sometime in the Spartan month of Karnea -- roughly August/September, which delayed the arrival of reinforcements for Leonidas.

There is a fair bit of quality information about the battle at Thermopylae. Our survey begins with a couple of excellent online essays dealing specifically with the battle:

Some briefer accounts:

Of course, it's appropriate to read some ancient sources as well:

Maps and images

Other items which might be of interest:

Copyright © 2001 David Meadows
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